Illustration by Gemma Smith
Alex Winston‘s music is the sort that you drive around listening to in the summer. Aha! And look outside, it looks as if spring has popped along to say hello, with a candy pink blossom hat. So today is the perfect day to start listening to Alex, if you haven’t already. The American plays drums, piano and guitar, and comfortably bestows on us a voice that can just as easily sing 60s styled poppy, girlie tracks, as well as slow ballads. It’s high and utterly, unashamedly, feminine and pretty. Predominantly she is fun, flirty pop. Like the modern day soundtrack to Grease, with glorious helpings of Grease spirit and bubbly style. However her music can’t be defined as simply as that, there are sounds of Arcade Fire, Lykke Li, PJ Harvey and Feist in there… diverse indeed. But oh how it works. Her EP is out now on PIAS records.
Could you introduce yourself please?
Sure. I’m Alex Winston…
Where are you from and where do you currently reside?
I’m from Detroit, but recently moved to the lower east side of Manhattan.
What sort of music do you create?
The fun kind.
Do you write it yourself?
Yes, I write everything myself.
What music/artists/eras influence your music?
I’m a big fan of Motown…The Supremes, Martha Reeves, Smokey Robinson, Little Stevie. Being from Detroit, its hard not to have a huge appreciation for it. I’m also a fan of early Rock and Roll stuff like Chuck Berry, Elvis and Little Richard.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Things I read, things I watch, relationships, other artists, good people, shitty people.
What’s your music background?
I started playing guitar and taking opera lessons when I was 10. I played in different bands all throughout high school and have been writing songs since I was around 14. My dad is a musician and pretty much taught me everything I know.
Illustration by Gemma Smith
What instruments do you play?
Guitar, Piano and Ukulele…I toy around with a million others, but those are my main instruments.
What can we find on your EP?
Six songs I’ve written over the last year or so. Some from when I was living in my dads basement back in Detroit, and some newer ones from here in New York. Its been a really transitional time for me, and I think you can hear that in the mini album.
Do you feel free to create the music you wish, or is there pressure to be ‘mainstream’?
There has never been any pressure to be anything other than what I am. Luckly when you write your own music, its easier to control the direction you go in. I also work with a great group of people who are interested in what I produce, not what they could morph me into.
And tours, what are the like for you?
I love touring and I love traveling. Right after high school I opted out of college for the opportunity to tour the US and I absolutely fell in love with the lifestyle. Now, I’m ready to expand and play all over the world. There is so much that I’d like to see.
How do you relax?
I sit in bed with thai food and watch music documentaries. I’m just about to watch the Lemmy one right now!
Do you enjoy being in England?
Yeah I love it. Its really becoming a second home. I feel like I’ve spent more time in the UK than in NYC in the last few months, and I can’t say that I mind it!
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Hopefully doing the same exact thing that I’m doing now. I’m not trying to be a super star…just want to be able to perform and write on a steady basis for as long as possible.
When can the UK see you? Festivals planned at all?
I know I’ll be touring over there in May and hopefully doing some festivals as well. I’ll be there whenever you guys will have me!
Tour Listings can be found here.
Alex Winston, America, Arcade Fire, Choice Notes, Chuck Berry, detroit, Elvis, ep, Feist, Gemma Smith, Helen Martin, Little Richard, Little Stevie, london, Lykke Li, Martha Reeves, music, new york, Pias Records, PJ Harvey, pop, Sister Wife, Smokey Robinson, The Supremes
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